Visual illusion proves effective in relieving knee pain for people with osteoarthritis

In a new study published in the journal Peer J this week, researchers at UniSA’s Body in Mind Research Group have found people suffering osteoarthritis in the knees reported reduced pain when exposed to visual illusions that altered the size of their knees.

UniSA researcher and NHMRC Career Development Fellow, Dr Tasha Stanton says the research combined visual illusions and touch, with participants reporting up to a 40 per cent decrease in pain when presented with an illusion of the knee and lower leg elongated.

“We also found that the pain reduction was optimal when the illusion was repeated numerous times — that is, its analgesic effect was cumulative,” Dr Stanton says.

Full story at Science Daily

FLEX CEUs: New CEU Courses

LOW BACK PAIN: THE ROLE OF FEAR

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most prevalent diseases in most developed and developing countries, and evidence suggests that psychosocial factors, especially fear-avoidance beliefs are important in predicting patients who will progress from an acute to a chronic stage, as well as failure of interventions.  The goals of this CEU course are to evaluate the relationship between trunk mechanical properties and psychological features in people with recurrent LBP, determine whether balance response of LBP patients is different from healthy controls under various conditions, and find out whether body sway is related to the fear of fall in LBP individuals.  Fear and psychological distress in regards to pain and disability is also discussed.

LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY EFFECTS ON INFLAMMATION

Inflammation of the synovial membrane plays an important role in the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis (OA).  The goal of this CEU course is to evaluate the effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on joint inflammation.

Free Continuing Education for Life!

Did you know that we have a program available that gives you free continuing education for life? If this sounds like something you’re interested in, just visit https://www.flextherapistceus.com/account-refer.php to get all the details.

How is psoriatic arthritis different from osteoarthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis are types of arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that happens to some people who have psoriasis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that occurs when the cartilage at the end of the bone wears away.

Arthritis is a term used to describe over 100 conditions that cause joint pain or joint damage. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, affecting over 30 million Americans.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and OA share some common symptoms, but there are also some key differences between the conditions.

Full story at Medical News Today

Scientists use nanotechnology to detect molecular biomarker for osteoarthritis

For the first time, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have been able to measure a specific molecule indicative of osteoarthritis and a number of other inflammatory diseases using a newly developed technology.

 This preclinical study used a solid-state nanopore sensor as a tool for the analysis of hyaluronic acid (HA).

HA is a naturally occurring molecule that is involved in tissue hydration, inflammation and joint lubrication in the body. The abundance and size distribution of HA in biological fluids is recognized as an indicator of inflammation, leading to osteoarthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases. It can also serve as an indicator of how far the disease has progressed.

“Our results established a new, quantitative method for the assessment of a significant molecular biomarker that bridges a gap in the conventional technology,” said lead author Adam R. Hall, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist.

Full story at Medical Xpress

Do We Really Understand Osteoarthritis of the Knee?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of disability worldwide and according to “The global burden of hip and knee osteoarthritis: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study“, OA of the knee is the 11th highest contributor to global disability. Put simply, millions of lives are affected by the disease every single day. It is predicted that it will advance to become the 4th leading cause of disability by 2020.

The cause of knee osteoarthritis is complex and certainly multi-factorial in nature.  There is a great summary over on Physiopedia, but in brief, it is a complex interaction between systemic and local factors. These factors include: advancing age, genetics, trauma, knee malalignment, increased biomechanical loading of joints through obesity, augmented bone density and an imbalance in physiological processes. It has been frequently reported, and it is a common thought, that obesity and advancing age are the two critical, and biggest, contributors to increasing prevalence of OA. This belief is being challenged by new evidence which may suggest that perhaps we have been approaching our understanding from the wrong perspective.

Full story at PhysioSpot

Physical therapy is safer than arthroscopy for degenerative knee pain

According to the Arthritis Foundation, approximately 27 million people in the U.S. have osteoarthritis, with the knee being one of the most commonly affected sites. Knee arthroscopies are the most common orthopedic procedures in the United States.

A recent guideline published in the British Medical Journal recommends against arthroscopic procedures for most patients with knee osteoarthritis and meniscal tears.

The guideline, which was based on a 2016 systematic review, indicated that outcomes for knee arthroscopy were not any better than those for exercise in patients with medial meniscal tears.

Full story of PT safer than arthroscopy for knee pain at Central Jersey

Clearing out old cells could extend joint health, stop osteoarthritis

In a preclinical study in mice and human cells, researchers report that selectively removing old or ‘senescent’ cells from joints could stop and even reverse the progression of osteoarthritis.

The findings, published April 24 in Nature Medicine, support growing evidence that senescent cells contribute to age-related diseases and demonstrate that using drug therapies to remove them from the joint not only reduces the development of post-traumatic osteoarthritis, but creates an environment for new cartilage to grow and repair joints.

Senescent cells accumulate in tissues as we age and are a normal part of wound healing and injury repair. They secrete important signals that call immune cells and other cell types into damaged tissue so they can clean up and rebuild. However, in articular joints such as the knee, and cartilage tissue in particular, these senescent cells often are not cleared from the area after injury. Their prolonged presence causes a cascade of events, which starts the development of osteoarthritis.

Full story of extending joint health at Medical Xpress

 

Osteoarthritis linked to high-fat diet

Osteoarthritis is the most common version of arthritis and affects millions of people across the world, including an estimated 30 million people in the United States alone.

The condition is characterized by the slow breakdown of cartilage, which acts as a buffer between joints. As the cartilage degenerates, joints can become swollen, stiff, and painful, and the condition tends to worsen with time.

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body but is most often found in the knees, hips, hands, and spine.

Full story of Osteoarthritis and high-fat diet at Medical News Today

Number of Americans Reporting Arthritis-Related Activity Limitations on the Rise

The overall prevalence of arthritis in the US may be about the same as it was 15 year ago, but its burden on Americans is worsening at a rapid pace—and in a particularly troubling way. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of Americans with arthritis who report that the condition limits their activities has jumped by 20% since 2002. It’s a trend the CDC believes can only be countered by “existing, underused, evidence-based interventions,” specifically interventions that promote physical activity, which the CDC describes as “a proven strategy for managing arthritis.”

In its report released March 7, the CDC analyzed results from 3 years of National Health Interview Surveys conducted between 2013 and 2015, focusing on respondents who reported arthritis (for the CDC, that includes osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, and fibromyalgia). The sample was balanced to reflect US population demographics, which allowed CDC to make overall estimates based on the results, and compared with statistics from 2002. Among the findings:

Full story of rising numbers in arthritis-related activity limitations at APTA

From PTJ: Could Genomic Awareness Transform the Profession?

As researchers continue to put together the pieces of the genetic puzzle, physical therapists (PT) can use this knowledge to better assess, treat, and refer patients according to their unique family histories, according to an article in the April issue of Physical Therapy (PTJ), APTA’s science journal.

The “Perspectives” article points out how the instance and progression of chronic disease, including osteoarthritis (OA) and cardiovascular disease (CVD), are affected not only by a patient’s lifestyle and environment, but by their genetics.

Authors explain how, over the past decade, genome-wide association studies have provided insight into the potential for personalized medicine, in which providers can use genetic markers to identify risk factors for certain health conditions. The eventual goal is to offer individualized therapies or preventive strategies.

Full story of genomic awareness in PT at APTA